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Since the isolation of graphene in 2004, researchers have investigated hundreds of two-dimensional (2D) materials, which are one or a few atomic layers thick and can feature exceptional strength or electron mobility. The structures and properties of these materials are determined by their chemical bonds, which are usually covalent, as in graphene. But 2D materials with metallic bonding have recently shown promise for catalysis and gas sensing applications. Now two theorists have performed a systematic study of 2D materials that could be formed from many metallic elements. They then compiled an “atlas” that could guide researchers trying to synthesize these materials.

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Category: Science